Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has issued a rallying cry behind his successor Ian Foster, following this week's confirmation of him taking the job.
Foster, 54, was earlier this week confirmed as the All Blacks' new coach, ascending from assistant to head coach in the same way that Hansen did before him.
The appointment came at the expense of current Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, who was the first choice of many fans after leading the Canterbury side to three successive Super Rugby titles.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB though, Hansen urged that Foster be supported in his new role in arguably the biggest job in world rugby.
"It's time to sit back and let him take over and enjoy watching without all the pressure that comes with being the coach," Hansen said.
"The important thing I think now is everybody who supports the All Blacks gets in behind him.
"I think back to my time when I took over from Ted (Sir Graham Henry), a lot of people thought I didn't deserve to get the job.
"You've got to give people an opportunity."
Hansen also offered his sympathies towards Robertson, but again emphasised the need to give Foster a chance to prove himself.
"I think we had two outstanding candidates. Scott Robertson is a very, very good coach in his own right and could well have done a very good too.
"Fozzie is also a very good coach in his own right, and probably a coach at the moment who a lot of people aren't giving the respect he probably deserves, because he is a very good coach."